FENCERS from King Edward VI School’s fencing club Shakespeare’s Swords performed superbly at the British Youth Championships held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
In all, nine medals were won, including three national titles, as club captain Caspian Watt, 17, led the way in the U18 boys’ sabre. He won all of his group matches to emerge as top seed for the elimination rounds.
Benjamin Wilson, 16, won all but one to be seeded 11th. Both fought through to the semi-finals and a guaranteed medal with a series of convincing victories.
Watt beat a fencer from Jersey 15-7 while Wilson was beaten by the same margin in a fight with a fencer from the South East.
In the final, Watt dominated the first period and opened up a seven-point lead. His opponent fought back strongly, but Watt maintained control and became British U18 Champion with a 15-10 victory.
Louis Bedford, 12, won all of his U12 boys’ sabre group matches and cut through the earlier knockout rounds with ease.
The quarter-final was dramatic as Bedford edged out one of the favourites 10-9 in a tense encounter. Another nail-biting match followed against a Scot but Bedford emerged the winner with a 10-8 victory.
The final was much like the previous two rounds with Bedford emerging as British U12 champion having beaten a Manchester fencer 10-7.
The U18 girls’ sabre saw Chloë Halliwell, 16, comfortably progress to the quarter-finals. She beat a fencer from the South West 15-14 before finding herself 14-5 behind in the semi-final.
One hit away from defeat, she showed extraordinary courage and determination to win the next ten points and book a place in the final.
Unfortunately, the final was more one-sided and a defeated Halliwell took an excellent silver medal.
In the U16 boys’ sabre Joe Pocknell, 15, Zachary Hamilton, 16, and Barnaby Halliwell, 14, all fenced well to reach the semi-finals and a guaranteed medal.
Pocknell defeated Hamilton 15-11 while Halliwell was defeated by the same scoreline by the 2014 U14 champion. Pocknell achieved silver in the final.
KES head coach Daniel Redshaw said: “I’m very proud of the fencers’ superb performances at this event and it’s hugely rewarding to see the reward from all the effort put into training by the fencers and our team of coaches.”